Intergenerational Program

IC3 joined Kendal at Ithaca, a local retirement community, in 1998 and has been serving the community ever since. At IC3 at Kendal, our children eat lunch daily with the residents, and participate in weekly activities with them. This intergenerational component is one of the things that make IC3 at Kendal unique and special. Interacting with the residents is a part of the program that is important to staff, children, and residents. Laurie Lees, a long time teacher at IC3 at Kendal, “I’ve always thought it was so important for the young and old to share some part of their daily life together. In my own life, growing up, I spent a good portion of my life being nurtured by my grandparents. It is a vivid, happy memory from my childhood. Teaching at Kendal, I have experienced firsthand how much joy can come from both sides when our toddlers interact with the residents. Sometimes just a smile or a hello in the hallway can brighten a person’s day-both the children and residents. When we go to the Activity Room with the residents, they make comments on how happy they are to see the kids. The kids and residents touch hands or share a chuckle and it is a special moment for both!” Helen, a resident at Kendal that joins the weekly activity period on Wednesday mornings says, “I love seeing the kids. I have two grandchildren but they are grown and married. Maybe, I’ll have great-grandkids soon, but in the meantime I have the Kendal kids.”

The interactions between children and residents can be planned or occur unintentionally. The children enrolled in the toddler classroom and the older infants will join the Kendal residents for lunch in the dining room everyday. The residents often stop by the tables and talk to the children, ask them questions or just say hi. Our play yard is surrounded by resident’s apartments and a long hallway of windows. It is a daily occurrence to see residents watching the children play outside. Residents also come to the childcare room to share stories or just to play. Jeanne Malone, IC3 Program Director, sees the value of these types of interactions; “Having classrooms at Kendal at Ithaca allows IC3 to offer quality programming in a cozy, welcoming space. The intergenerational component of IC3 at Kendal enhances our programming by allowing the younger and older generations to mix, mingle and interact with one another. For a variety of reasons, children are often lacking contact and interactions with the older generation, especially their own grandparents. The children enrolled at IC3 at Kendal get to interact, play and communicate with a grandparent figure on a daily basis. The intergenerational component of the program offers the children and Kendal residents experiences that are hard to find elsewhere.” Maria Giampaolo, Director of Therapeutic Recreation at Kendal also sees the benefits of an intergenerational program, but from the residents’ view. “The kids bring such energy to Kendal. It’s always nice to see the elders interacting with the kids. It brings back memories from their childhoods and their children’s childhoods. Having these interactions give the residents a sense of purpose. They can share parts of themselves with the children. It gives them a sense that they are valuable and can still be involved in their community.”

IC3 at Kendal provides full day care for infants and toddlers. Our educational philosophy is child-centered active learning which means that our program is created from the needs and interest of the children. We strive to provide just the right mix of structure and free play time that children need, in a loving nurturing environment. Visit our FAQs page for more information about our programs or contact us.